Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 3rd November 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Derbyshire club Dronfield Town at Oak Park, and in an entertaining, gripping match the Woodmen sent the visitors home defeated, three goals to one.
David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:
Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood 3 v 1 Dronfield Town
It would be somewhat of a slight injustice to call today’s game a typical cup tie match. The quality of ball control, passing, tackling and turning were of the highest standard throughout. There were very few slack passes by either team. On the contrary we were thrilled to see accuracy and skill on display. There was no complaining by players or officials. This made for an entertaining and captivating contest, I am pleased to note, where the referee’s decisions and officiating was respected and accepted by all, both on and off the field of play.
The blustery, unpredictable sharp wind could have marred and adversely affected the quality of football. But not today, to the credit of the players whose skill and ability allowed them to quickly adapt to this additional challenge.
The game flowed from end to end; sometimes from long kicks from goal, sometimes from delicious throw-ins, sometimes from swift breakaway lunges. This was a game where spectators dare not blink .
The minutes sped by in the first half, with neither side seemingly able to counter their opponents’ determination and defences. Until, a glint, a mere chink, a bobble of a pass and the Wood pounced and scored that precious first goal. Now we were to see how Dronfield would respond and the game, already played at pace showed another level of determination and commitment as each player gave of his best, turning, running, sliding, wheeling , spinning round opponents… Super soccer to spectate and bringing frequent applause from spectators.
Half time and a cup of Earl Grey tea from bone china cups, and cucumber sandwiches, minus crusts, for the teams in the privacy of their boudoirs. Meanwhile confused spectators fumbled around to partake of vital nourishment and urgent throat lubricant preparation for act two of this sporting drama.
The second half brought a second and a third goal to the Wood. A composed, proficient, capable and effective home side were showing their opponents a clean pair of heels. And yet, Dronfield showed their grit and determination in a true Derbyshire manner. They challenged, passed, ran their hearts out and gained a goal. And a very good goal, too.
However, the time had run out for them and the willing and sporting footballers from Dronfield left to pitch, sadly, without the victory they had worked so hard for. And with them they took the total respect from Walsall Wood, players, managers, club directors and spectators for the sporting manner in which they played their game here today.
Thanks to David for the report and pictures – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!